Preparing for a recent career event has made me think about career key performance indicators or KPIs; an often cited phrase for measuring performance. Lawyers, for example, are measured in 6 minute units of fee earning time, a key KPI, with published league tables – can you imagine how pressured that must be?!
Definition of KPIs
“A key performance indicator (KPI) is a metric used by business to evaluate factors that are crucial to the success of the business.”
How do you measure career performance specifically? If you are employed, your employer may use very different measures to what is important to you and if this is the case, it may be a good time for a job or career rethink.
If you are self-employed, is it the rate per day, how many days you work a year, enjoyable work, prestigious projects, number of referrals, client testimonials, repeat business, value per transaction/project or number of new clients?
Here is our definition of career KPIs for individuals:
“Career key performance indicators (KPIs) are metrics used by an individual to evaluate and measure factors that are crucial to their own perceived career success and progress.”
Types of KPI
• Financial; salary, rate/day, rewards, bonus etc.
• Progress; speed of promotion, increases in responsibility
• Work life balance; flexible working hours, sabbaticals taken, no of days holiday/year
• Fulfilment; feeling satisfied and enjoying your working hours and career
• Reputation/career capital; being seen as an expert, testimonials, sought after and needing to do less marketing over time
• Fit; a role that plays to your strengths and in which you feel ‘in flow’
• Purpose; giving back, making a difference to the world, involvement in CSR, working for an employer with clients in the charity sector or social enterprise
• Academic; membership level e.g. fellow in professional organisation, grade for further qualification attained
What are your top 3 career KPIs?
KPIs may change with life stage e.g. needing to fund children through school or university can make salary or a pay rise very important even if you are not that motivated by money, whilst flexible working is essential if you have young children for example.
7 tips to think about your career KPIs
1. Define your own unique career KPIs – don’t feel obliged to use standard measures – what is important to YOU?
2. Track your progress; measure and monitor at least every 3 months
3. Know your industry averages so you can bench mark/negotiate armed with facts and examples
4. Build self-awareness; know what motivates you and your personal values; what is important to you
5. Get a career coach to protect time to focus on your career and help you to see your full potential, something people often can’t do as they are too close themselves
6. Give yourself an annual performance review, or ideally a career review and planning meeting 4 times a year
7. Grade your KPIs; primary and secondary or ‘must do’ and ‘nice to have’
When will you make time to think about your career KPIs for the next 12 months?
A coaching session is a great way to ring fence time in your diary to focus on your career KPIs and career capital for the next 12 months. Book yours now, e mail us: